‘Rosemary’s Baby’ Remake Review Roundup: Is Zoe Saldana's Mini Series Any Good? Find Out What Critics Are Saying

Rosemary
Zoe Saldana as Rosemary Woodhouse in NBC's forthcoming two-part series, "Rosemary's Baby." NBC

Two generations of movie goers have come and gone since the original release of “Rosemary’s Baby” in 1968, due to the time gap, and well known commercial and critical success, comparisons between the two are nearly null and void, however, expected.  Most viewers agree that no remake, reboot or reimagined plot will be as good as the first one, still fans of Roman Polanski’s cult classic “Rosemary’s Baby” may be eagerly anticipating NBC’s forthcoming remake starring Zoe Saldana, and like most new projects critics seem to be spilt over one main issue.  

Zoe Saldana takes on the role of Rosemary Woodhouse with new life, instead of the meek and fragile New York housewife viewers came to know with Mia Farrow. NBC’s Rosemary is not so easily bulldozed, yes, she is heavily influenced by her neighbors, however due to plot variations and mainly the location change to Paris, the dependence and later coercion seems plausible. Saldana’s Rosemary is more independent than her 1968 counterpart, which eliminates the doll-like nativity of this iconic character.

Directed by Agnieszka Holland, “Rosemary’s Baby” is set to be a reimagined version and the most notably detail change is Rosemary herself. However, she is still a young wife, who by following her husband Guy, played by Patrick J. Adams, has essentially marooned herself in a foreign country. Rosemary is not a native of Paris, does not speak French, and is nervous about the early stages of her pregnancy, after suffering a devastating miscarriage. The move to Paris and phenomenal casting of Margaux and Roman Castevet, played by Carole Bouquet and Jason Issacs, set the scene for the already cautious Rosemary and over eager Guy to be essentially swindled. Their neighbors, are “rich French sophisticates who offer the young American couple their friendship and the use of a spare apartment in their ornate building in the Eighth Arrondissement,” according to the New York Times.  

In addition to the modern take Saldana infuses into the character of Rosemary, the Parisian backdrop gives the story the mystical spooky charm it both requires and deserves. Significant aspects of the story that would seem improbable in today’s generation, have somehow re-worked their way into this European adventure. French medicine is not the same as American medicine nor are doctors’ offices and more specifically OBGYN’s. NYTimes claims “Margaux’s insistence on home-brewed, herbal potions seems entirely plausible” due to their setting in the land of “homeopathic pharmacies and verbena tisanes.”

However, some critics are not convinced by the change in both Rosemary and location and instead believe that the terrifyingly haunting tale first dreamed up by Iran Levin has not been properly reimagined by modern day standards. The independence Saldana has injected into the role of Rosemary does not sit well with some, Variety believes viewers will be left wondering why the star of “Avatar” doesn’t “complain until she is blue in the face.” The devastating miscarriage Rosemary suffered, causes an understandable amount of desperation for her, however Variety explains that never are her husband’s motives and desperations explained thoroughly.

NBC’s version lacks a legitimate reason as to why “her hubby -- a blocked novelist -- would betray her so horribly by the time the deception must happen.” Another mixed review of the series came from Time, which states that the necessary connection between Rosemary and Guy on screen is not there. “There’s little connection between Saldana and Adam,” the intense journey of this young couple’s relationship should translate into some sort of passion, however the review continues that they are as “generic as a couple in a credit-card commercial.”

However the two-part series should make some noise, mainly due to its made for TV special formatting and of course the classic tale’s already dedicated following. Check out the "Fear is Born" trailer below and be sure to tune in to watch the "Rosemary's Baby" on NBC on Sunday, May 11 and May 15 at 9 p.m. 

What do you think?
Donovan Longo

Donovan Longo, staff reporter, joined the Latin Times team in February 2013 and has quickly become our resident pop culture expert. As a native New Yorker and Fordham University alumni, Donovan has always had her finger on the cultural pulse and is here to get you in the know.  As a follower of Donovan’s writing you will undoubtedly win a game of thrones, survive a zombie apocalypse, fall in love with a vampire and outsmart the CIA.